As the Lady Barons track team opened its season this past weekend, the Barons men also competed at Youngstown State University in the Mid-Major Invitational. The Baron men competed exceptionally well against Division I and II teams. The future looks bright for Franciscan with the talent that the team possesses this year.
As the meet began, four runners of the men’s distance team were first up in the men’s 1 mile run. In the first heat (heats run slowest first and fastest last), the Baron men were led by freshman Athanasius Sirilla and junior Grady Stuckman. As the race approached the halfway mark, Sirilla was not satisfied with the presented pace and jumped to the lead, with Stuckman following closely behind.
As the field approached the final lap, Sirilla lost the lead for a brief few meters, but with 200 meters to go, he regained the lead and charged home to win his heat in a time of 4:45.83, good enough for 26th overall. Stuckman would finish sixth in heat one, with a time of 4:51.93 for 31st overall.
Sophomore Patrick Tansill was the lone Baron distance runner in the second heat. He contended well, finishing hard in a time of 4:38.44, putting him in 21st overall. In heat three, freshman Liam Galligan was the lone Baron distance runner. After falling off the aggressive pace set early, he climbed back into the race with a fast finish to place third in his heat, and overall, in a season’s best of 4:19.50.
The next distance event was the men’s 800 meter run. The Baron men placed five runners in the field of the 48 in the race. In heat one, Tansill and Stuckman competed again, running a time of 2:07.58 for 40th overall and 2:16.08 for 45th overall, respectively. In heat two, freshman Austen Duggan and sophomore John Bolster ran tough and finished in times of 2:04.04 for 32nd place overall and 2:06.07 for 38th overall, respectively. Galligan also competed again and ran a time of 2:01.84, for 26th overall in the race.
Lastly, the team competed in the men’s 3000 meter run, where the Baron men ran well against big name competitors. In heat one, the Baron men were led by junior Nick Long, Sirilla, junior Matthew Crotteau and freshman Matt Murphy. Long took the lead in the early going and never looked back. With about 200 meters to go, he fought off a hard-chasing competitor and stormed home for a big win in his heat and a new personal best by more than 15 seconds in 9:16.14.
Crotteau, who finished strongly, and Sirilla, who completed an excellent 1 mile and 3000 double, ran well in the heat at 9:36.91 for 29th overall and 9:39.82 for 30th, respectively. Murphy would run well in his first-ever track race, running 11:52 for 41st overall. In heat two, freshman Mark Borek set a new personal best of 9:14.21, just ahead of Long from heat one, running a tactically smart race with a very hard finish. This time would place him 14th overall out of 41 runners.
The men’s sprint team also competed well and threw down competitive times in their respective events. In the men’s 200 meter dash, the Barons were led by senior Carlo Fabian (46th, 23.44) and freshman Sergie Daez (51st, 25.65).
In the 400 meter dash, the Baron men also ran well. Their top finisher was James Craig in a time of 54.19 for 25th overall. Fabian almost matched that time, running 54.66 for 27th overall. The last event of the day was the men’s 4×400 meter relay. The Baron men ran a time of 3:33.23, finishing 17th of 19 teams, and were led by Bolster, Craig, Fabian and Duggan.